More Daring at 31

Authenticity, Life path, The Self

upI turn 31 today.

So what?

“What’s different about me this year in comparison to who I was last year?”, I ask myself.

Well, I think I’m pretty much the same. I just think I’m more daring now. Daring in ways I wasn’t before. Daring and more comfy in my own skin. Daring and more at peace with uncertainty. Daring and more at ease with owning my mistakes. Daring and more confident with my personal standards and desires. Daring and more trusting in life. Daring and more tender in my relationships.

Stepping onto this phase of my life feels like a warm, thick familiar coffee. You look forward to it. It’s homey in its own special way. It also feels like a prize you know you so well deserved.

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The only question that matters is: Were you Brave?

Faith, Life path, People, The Self

diveWe can’t always be certain which is the right thing to do – if by right means getting the outcome that we desire.

But we can always be brave if we choose to. Brave to feel our own emotions, brave to admit the truth, brave to trust, brave to follow where our spirit is leading us into, brave to fight and persevere, brave to go beyond the limits we’re used to and brave to create new rules to live by.

Doing the brave thing may not always be the right thing to do – if by right means getting the outcome that we desire. But I can’t remember anything I made out of bravery that I end up regretting. Maybe it’s not doing the right thing, but doing the brave thing, that has only enabled us to break through. Maybe the rest doesn’t matter after all.

Turning Fear into our Greatest Ally

Authenticity, Faith, Healing, Life path, People & Relationships, The Self

lostDo you know a cool way to determine how much you’ve grown?

Look back a few years from now, a few months from now, even a few weeks, days, hours and minutes from now – and identify which fears you have tamed, mastered, overcame. Really scan your body, your memories for those things that used to make you feel suneasy, terrified, anything that has kept you from doing certain things you’ve wanted to do.

List those fears that are your fears no more.

I see those as stepping stones. Some even feel like mountain ranges, volcanoes, and even heavenly bodies crashing into earth.

No matter how big or small we perceive them to be, how life-changing they may have been, they have taken us this far in our journey. They are our warrior trophies.

It’s not only a good way of reflecting how much we have grown but also a good way of reframing our perspective towards fear itself. By having this new outlook, it becomes possible to look at fear not as something to be avoided at all cost but as something to be curious about.

Fear has the key to the next level of our journey. It leads us to the door of our further expansion.

Some of the fears I have overcame were:

Fear of saying “No”. Fear of saying I don’t want this certain (insert situation, relationship, habit, way of living, etc.) anymore. Knowing well the consequences and still stepping on the brakes. Against all odds, choosing my own well-being and integrity.

Confronting the truth of another person. Facing the fact that the person I loved, admired, trusted, good friends with may actually be unhealthy for me. Accepting their humanity and letting my ideations of them go.

Taking chances (fear of rejection and heartache). Going for some of my biggest dreams. Embracing the possibility that I can manifest the career that I wanted. Making the first move to make a loving partnership happen. Going for the things that I deeply wanted with the risk of getting rejected and beaten. Going for them, anyway.

Putting my art (and inevitably, myself) out there (again, fear of rejection and embarrasment). Believing that me and my art have a place in this world, that we are meant to be seen. That somewhere out there, there are those who will be entertained and/or inspired by what we are aching to offer.

Being alone (and not “making it”). Yes, even the most introverted person like me can still have fears of being alone. I love solitude so much and I need it like a fish needs to be in the water. Despite the fact, I used to have this existential fear – that I’m sure most of us can resonate with – of uncertainty whether I can really be autonomous over my life. You know what I did? I embraced that fear. I ended codependent relationships, stopped chasing things that were obviously running away from me, I traveled solo, I built my path with my bare hands and feet – tried and failed, tried and failed – and then tried and succeeded.

This approach has helped me a lot! It’s handy especially during those times when I feel like a total loser, like I’m not really going anywhere and I’m just running in place. Fear has a powerful way of holding us hostage in our own life, in our own mind. But by flipping the switch of our perspective, we can turn fear from being our worst foe into our greatest ally.

May your fears lead you the way to your own alignment.

Put Yourself Out There

Art, Authenticity, Creative Living, Life's Work, The Self

do it

diveA few years ago, as I was preparing to join my first art market, I remember having a discussion with myself regarding my anxiety on putting my work out there.

I felt soooo self-conscious. I kept questioning the quality of my work, my skills, and whether I deserved to have a spot in the open at all, together with a bunch of other creatives.

I’ve never had a problem creating art and being spontaneous with it. If anything, it’s where I felt the most free. It’s my happy place. On the flip side, sharing my work was something else.

So there I was, walking back and forth, with clammy hands I prepared for my big day. I organized my items and all the publicity materials that I’d be bringing with me the next day, the day of the art market.

I WAS DREADFUL.

I was still unsure if I was gonna join even up to the point where I was done prepping. In the corner of my mind I thought I could still back out, yes, despite weeks of painting for hours and spending all my savings on my hand painted bags.

A voice broke my rumination; I heard her screaming in my mind’s ear:

“Simply go the fucking do it. Put your fucking work out there.”

“You will know what’s gonna happen once you’ve done it. For now, stop ruminating about it.”

So I did. I went to the art market. I put my work out there. And I was able to sell them (I didn’t even believe people would actually pay for them but they did!). I also met many friendly and interested people. I caught some people smiling at my bags. People took photos. The world didn’t break apart and swallowed me whole. No one humiliated me.

Since then I conquered my fear of sharing my work with the world. I kept joining art markets. It didn’t always go well (monetarily, speaking) and many times I felt as though I was wasting my time. But something delicious and unexpected came of out it – the confidence to put not only my work, but also myself out there (’cause when you’re sharing something you’ve created, you’re inevitably sharing yourself, too, especially if you’re also the one marketing and selling them).

This confidence is no longer limited to my hand painted bags but to all forms of self-expression; be it my writing, dancing in public, putting on make-up and dressing myself up the way I want to, making jokes, among others.

That voice might have sounded harsh to me at that time, but she was right for pushing me to just go for it. Now to you my self-conscious friend I say, stop ruminating and go the fucking put yourself out there! Do it for yourself! There’s a space for each of us in this world. Own yours and use it. 😉

You’re doing Well

Healing, Life path, People & Relationships, The Self

fernwaterWe’ve all been there whether we admit it to ourselves or not – we feel stuck in our limited perception of our humanity, we believe we can’t change or that we don’t even need to change, we feel undeserving of any form of help, we feel worse when others reach out to love us and see the light in us when we secretly detest ourselves. Shame and insecurity are so wide-spread, yet at the same time they’re two of the things we are mostly resistant to speak about.

When we have made a decision that has caused pain to ourselves and others, when despite our wisdom we betray our own values and neglect our own needs, when we let the hurting parts of ourselves get the better of us, when we can’t seem to get out of the pit we have dug ourselves into, when all of our efforts seem to just backfire – we act like a little kid again; powerless in the face of the “real world”. We put ourselves in a corner as a form of self-punishment.

What would a loving adult tell a little scared and discouraged kid?

“You did well! Everything’s alright. Failing is part of the learning process. When you’re ready, try again. I’m here for you every step of the way.”

Does it resonate? We wouldn’t badmouth the kid and go ahead punishing her/him if we come from a place of love, right?

Growing old doesn’t give us the right to be harsh to ourselves. We still haven’t figured out everything – in fact, the wiser among us realize that we know less and less as we age – therefore, we will still fail to do what is right for us, and we still even need to figure out what that “right” means for us as well.

If you’re in a similar situation or if someone in your life is – tell your/her/his inner kid,

“You’re doing well. You’re showing up in your own life and this results to experiencing a variety of things – some you like and others you do not. What matters is that you learn from them and that you continue to have the heart to proceed.  Move forward when you’re ready, but also know that you deserve to get all the rest and support that you need.”

At the core of love is Strength

Life path, The Self

heroines

greenbgYour heart can be soft and gentle, compassionate and forgiving – most of all because, at the core of your heart, at the core of love is strength.

Love is not passive. Love is not afraid. Love is built on courage. Love is founded on eternal truths.

Following your heart is not about rainbows and butterflies all the time. It’s a heroine’s journey. Prepare for soul-crushing battles and glorious triumphs alike.

Meeting my first Animal Guide

Meditation/Visions, The Self

As I was meditating with my partner last night (it wasn’t a couple’s meditation but we were listening to the same meditation guide at the same time), an animal come to me. It wasn’t really a meditation on meeting your spiritual guide/totem, it was more like an intention to connect to your divinity meditation. At first I couldn’t figure out the figure who was slowly coming out of the fire/curtains. Initially I thought it was an old man, like a shaman, a hermit. But then the figure slowly evolved and the image was complete.

A black panther appeared to me. He came as close as he can to my face and looked me straight in the eye. I knew it’s a “he” because I sensed the masculine energy. I asked him why did he appear to me. He communicated with me mentally and said that,

“You have made me come out. Now I am here. I’ll see you again.”

I had to say goodbye to him because the meditation already was coming to an end.

I never really felt the inspiration to research about animal guides, I never meditated on it. But I guess, I am in the right place and the right time for this connection. He came out to show himself to me no matter how elusive he was because he has the reason now to do that. Maybe what made him come out was my decision a couple of days ago to make my spiritual work a commitment, a life work. I have decided to make it a full time work and not just a hobby anymore. I told myself,

“This is it. I am gonna do it 365 days a year, 24/7, no matter what’s going on in my life. I am gonna add discipline to it. Just like work, I am gonna immerse myself on it despite being not in the mood to do it. I am gonna make time for it. I am gonna fight for all the solitude that I need to do it.”

This morning, I decided to meditate and meet him again to find out what he has to tell me. I found a meditation guide which helped me connect with him easily. This is how our encountered went:

I was in a rain forest. There was a short bridge in front of me and there was a thin river underneath it. The forest was misty and the trees were as tall as skyscrapers. I was sitting before the bridge and I sensed a black panther walking back and forth on the other side, impatient and nervous.

I slowly crossed the bridge. I was clothed in mist. As I arrived on the other side, I saw him sitting in front of me. I was sitting on the ground, too. We didn’t communicate for a while then he took me out for a walk.

I was walking side by side with him in the forest when he started speaking. He said:

Master your own mind. Go to the darkest, most unknown places and see what’s in there. When you do that, nothing can feel scary for you anymore. Memorize your mind like a maze. Your environment is a direct reflection of your own mind. So if you can master your own mind, you can master your environment. Do you know you can bend your world? Yes, you can. Everything around you is a projection of your mind. So if you know your own mind, you will understand more all the things in your environment. If you are familiar with your own shadows, you can recognize it more easily on others and you’ll know how to deal with them. What’s inside your own mind will be reflected on the objects, situations and people around you. So it’s gonna be better for you if you know your own mind. You can control your life in a way that will serve you. On the other hand, pay attention to your environment as well. They give clues as to what’s in your subconscious. This is not about competition. This is not about being better than others. This is about participation. Participate in the process of creation, of creating worlds. Solitude may be a strange thing. But you have to know it’s value if you want to pursue this path of mastering your own mind. Let solitude fill you.

Then we had to part ways. The meditation ended.

I feel so comforted and supported, grateful for this huge help that has come my way. A new gate has opened because I have become prepared to go through it. The Black Panther is the perfect animal guide for me at this time because I had to be brave, strong and wise in this journey that for the most part, I’ll be doing on my own.

It’s one of those days again – When Change beckons

People & Relationships, The Self

Change happens slowly then suddenly. The truth is, we inevitably have to rip some veins and cut some ties loose to complete the process of change. Otherwise, there’s no chance of genuinely breaking free.

Change invites us to rise from our small mindedness and embrace wisdom, to trust in the process of life and how it goes from chaos to organization, from uncertainty to knowing.

Finally it teaches us how important these changes are in each of our own metamorphosis and self actualization.

Answering the Soul’s longing

Creative Living, Life path, The Self

Way back in college, I remember I had come at a crossroads – I thought about pursuing art seriously and eventually making a career out of it. But the other part of me prevailed, the part of me that didn’t want to pursue the very thing I loved for fear of failure. I was afraid that it might not love me back. So I didn’t take a chance. I didn’t pursue it.

Fast forward to a decade later, I am here embracing the very thing I loved and evaded from most of my adult life. I have finally launched my dream project – a combination of visual art, entrepreneurship and spirituality.

I MADE IT. I HAVE JUST FULFILLED A DREAM.

I have battled many of my doubts, fears and insecurities along the way. They’re not entirely resolved but I have learned to live with them.

I have learned that what makes any person successful in what they chose to do is PERSEVERANCE.

Most of the time, the reasons not to pursue something will outweigh the reasons to pursue it. But fulfilling dreams, like any heart’s desire, is not a rational process. It always requires a certain level of craziness and leaps of faith.

Nothing is certain in life and that includes achieving goals. What makes anything possible is our desire, belief and perseverance.

There are many times when I get preoccupied with short-sighted matters like financial needs and immediate recognition. But again and again, the Universe reminds me that I should look longer than that, that I should dream bigger than my present dreams.

She reminds me that I must focus on my enjoying, developing and putting my work out there instead of obsessing on my success or if I am finally getting “there”.

Financial returns may be slow in the beginning because the immediate fruits come in other ways. I may not be selling my work hot like pancakes at the moment but I am grateful for the positive feedback from the people I have inspired. I am connecting with people who have similar deep soul longings to fulfill their life’s work. That can’t be measured by any amount of money.

The Universe tells me I should let go of my burdens and focus on developing my craft and celebrating my accomplishments. She is so right.

Instead of brooding over what I am not fulfilling yet, my focus should be on what I have done, who I have become in the process and how my work has affected the world around me.

I could die anytime and have totally no regrets!

I keep on praying that I may have the wisdom, the courage and the strength to sustain and improve what I have started.

Honestly, I don’t have any “grand” reasons for doing this. I just like it so much and I want to turn all my ideas into reality.

I don’t intend to help other people in any way, I don’t intend to leave any kind of legacy (though, I am not saying that there’s anything wrong with that), but I believe that in many ways we can uplift other people and make the world a better place (no matter how cliche it sounds) by following what sets our hearts on fire.

To those interested, please feel free to visit my page:

www.facebook.com/superdaenamite

If you’re happy with  my work, please like it and share it with your family and friends!

Thank you so much!

To the Shell I have cracked

Authenticity, People & Relationships, The Self, Women's Room

Authenticity breaks even the most stubborn defenses. It’s like the light piercing through the hardest of shells.

I knew you cracked. I cracked first before the light in me was able to crack the shit out of you. I knew you didn’t expect it. It was all too uncomfortable. It beat the hell out of me first. I was willing to put up a life-and-death fight. But I chose to surrender and liberate myself instead. I didn’t like it because it’s simply not a thing to like. But it’s one of those things we just have to go through if we want to move a step closer to freedom.

You’ve mentioned that it was obvious how you didn’t open up that much. But maybe if we become closer, you would open up, too. On the other hand, you have done a lot of introspection. We all have our own processes. Your time will come. Let’s just say that my introspective phase came a bit earlier (though it would come back again in time, of course) and now is my time to let it all out. All the things I have shared were not really that difficult to share for me because I never saw them as sensitive or taboo. But by going through the process of sharing, I’ve realized that it makes a whole lot of difference when you make something private public.

It’s not about being validated, actually but more about taking that leap of faith.

It’s an affirmation that you’ll be okay not because a safety net will catch you but because you’ll grow your wings and discover you can fly.

Authenticity makes us feel vulnerable but it actually makes us stronger.

You told me I was cool and that you liked the person you saw in me when I chose to “bare it all”. I’ve been known by my friends and those I have worked with as someone who has always been daring. I don’t really see myself that way, though.

All I know is that if we are not being authentic then what are we sharing with the world? The world needs our uniqueness.

I don’t intend to be cool. I just couldn’t help but be blunt and candid and random and awkwardly, painfully and gloriously myself.

It warms my heart to know I have influenced someone. I have made someone think and love themselves a little more. It warms my heart to know my courage has made someone braver, too.

Your time will come. Know yourself and trust the process. *flying kisses